One of these days, the film community is going to recognize Walter Hill’s movie The Warriors as the classic that it is.
I think it gets short shrift because of the controversy it generated when it came out in the late-1970s owing to its depiction of New York City gangs and associated violence. But the truth is, it’s an exceptionally well-made film, with brilliant direction, strong performances, sharp editing and terrific cinematography … including some great slow-motion camerawork during the myriad fight scenes.
Surprisingly, it also has a sensitive script that calls attention to class discrepancies, most notably in a sequence set on a subway car. Not your average action flick, methinks.
So this is more than a guilty pleasure. It’s a quality picture, one that I can watch over and over again. I don’t really get tired of it. Maybe it’s because I was born and raised in The Big Apple, and I have an affinity for the film’s depiction of my city. Or maybe it’s just because I like good movies.
Of course, it could be both. Still, one thing’s for certain: It should be in better cinematic standing. And that’s something I’ll advocate with all my heart.
It’s hard to go back and dig the movies you loved in childhood as much after becoming an adult, but I’d say Meet Me in St. Louis stands the test of time. This favorite of old has a real evergreen quality, with charming, tuneful songs, able performances and vibrant direction.
So why haven’t I seen it that often?
It’s not always on TV; there’s one reason. And the fact is, I chanced upon it last night on the telly. For some reason, I don’t seek it out like I do other movies. I guess that’s too bad. It’s really worth looking for.
Of course, it’s Judy Garland’s movie, and she’s terrific in it. The film basically glows, and it’s mostly because of her; she sings the marvelous tunes with such feeling that you’re likely to join her in regaling your loved ones with the catchy melodies. I did, despite the fact that my pipes are nowhere near what Garland’s were.
That didn’t stop me, however.
Meet Me in St. Louis is one of those pictures that has aged as gracefully as a fine wine, and it’s one of the few flicks that remains as good now as it did when I was a kid. I’m happy about that; it makes revisiting my childhood all the more special while allowing me to retain a grown-up’s perspective. You don’t get that chance too often. You’ve got to enjoy it while it lasts.
I’m doing that right now.
OK, so I didn’t get a chance to finish Cloudburst last night. What I saw of it, however, I rather liked.
The story of an elderly lesbian couple on the run after they’re split up when one is forced to go to a home, Cloudburst has lively dialogue and a strong performance by reliable Olympia Dukakis as one of the feisty protagonists. It also has strong direction by Thom Fitzgerald, who also wrote the script. I think there are a couple of spots that stretch credibility, including a scene in which two characters are let go after being busted for drugs, but overall it seems to be an enjoyable film. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest.
When I will actually do so is another story. Hopefully, it’ll be soon.
I remember watching the trailers for Philomena and thinking that it seemed like a syrupy, sentimental movie.
We watched it last night. Boy, was it not that at all.
Pretty serious, disturbing flick, with some light touches. But the advertising for it was all wrong. This was an attack on social injustice, centering on a woman whose child was basically taken away from her for adoption in the United States … and it was based on a true story, too. It was not a “feel-good” movie.
Direction, by the reliable Stephen Frears, was expert, getting fine performances from Judi Dench (I know, as usual) and Steve Coogan. And although there was some humor, it focused on memories and the sadness of one who lost something important. I think we’ve all experienced that in some way.
Good movie. Not a “feel-good” one, though.
I want to tell you something about the movie At Middleton.
IT WAS HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!! UGH!!!!!!!!!
OK, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s proceed to why this rom-com was so wretched. It had some talent in front of the camera, including Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga as parents visiting a college with their kids and finding romance in the process. Unfortunately, the script was dreadful, creating a host of unbelievable situations in the name of character development, including a completely unrealistic scene in which the duo crashes a campus acting class and provides a clinic in method theory.
Can you say, “Ludicrous?” I can.
Another problem: Many sequences went on for far too long, with the effect that they became tedious. The conversations between the two parents were so uninteresting that they didn’t foster any definition; instead, they removed it. What we, as viewers, were left with were skeletons of characters speaking poor dialogue and becoming more and more insufferable as the film went on.
Oh, and I really dislike forced quirkiness, which was broadcast through Farmiga’s free-spirit mom. Yuck.
Much of the blame for this nonsense could be put on the direction by Adam Rodgers, who co-wrote the film, too. But the script’s issues were really insurmountable. If only it were better paced. If only the characters were credible. If only … if only …
Can I watch something good now?
Well, I tried to watch The Comedians. It was a valiant effort.
Unfortunately, it failed.
I’m not sure what the issue was. The pacing seemed off. Direction, by Peter Glenville, was a bit plodding, especially during the scenes involving Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, who have never been my favorite acting team. It certainly was a powerful subject – Haiti during the reign of “Papa Doc” Duvalier – and it had some terrific performers, including Alec Guinness, Peter Ustinov, James Earl Jones and Lilian Gish, but the components didn’t really fit together. The movie felt like an unfinished jigsaw puzzle with inaccurately measured pieces.
Oh, well. I do like trying new things, but this picture didn’t grab me. Perhaps it’s one of those films that deserves to be remade. Better direction and a tighter script might serve it well.